SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Feb2016

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26 SMT Magazine • February 2016 Aircraft electronic parts include avion- ics—components that the pilot directly uses, such as navigation and radio communication equipment, as well as other electronic systems not directly used by the pilot that control and monitor flight and engine performance. Aside from aircraft entertainment and information systems, electronic parts found their way into the seat, kitchen, and plumbing systems. EMS providers have diversified into serv- ing the aerospace market along with other non-traditional markets as outsourcing in the traditional segments of computing, communi- cations, and consumer electronics has become a low margin play. Avionics, infotainment sys- tems, and even plastic and metal parts are being outsourced to EMS companies. Valtronic, Sypris, and TT Electronics are some of the EMS providers engaged in aero- space programs. Valtronic, for example, en- gages in high-value aerospace projects, includ- ing airplane tire pressure sensors and aerospace electronic modules, from product conceptual- ization to integration and delivery. Domo arigato, Mr. roboto "Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto. For doing the jobs nobody wants to…" —Styx, "Mr. Roboto" (1983) With labor cost, supply, and quality issues in varied locations, EMS providers have turned to robotics to automate their production lines. Automation, when implemented prudently, can increase throughput, improve quality, in- crease repeatability, and reduce labor-related costs. Further, the cost of non-quality decreases due to yield improvements, lower inspection costs, lower rework costs, and fewer field re- turns. Demanding OEMs usually do a cost-benefit analysis of their outsourcing programs, com- paring the analysis with automation with that of sans automation. Automotive and medical electronic products warrant a thorough joint assessment by the OEM and the EMS provider. For complex products involving critical process steps such as precision press-fitting or selective soldering, OEMs are prone to choose automation. In 2014, Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI) partially automated a production line in its Jiaxing, China factory by way of a rotary as- sembly machine that performs eight different production steps from checking of the sub-as- semblies after loading to identifying the bad outputs from the good ones. This year, IMI will focus on developing a fully automated production line in its Jiaxing factory. Don't you Worry 'bout a Thing "Everybody needs a change, a chance to check out the new…Don't you worry 'bout a thing." —Stevie Wonder, "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" (1973) An electronic product is as good as how it functions. OEMs can't afford to worry about the functionality of their product—if they are able to meet the standards required. To help the OEMs ensure that their products function as planned, EMS providers have been offering test process and test system design so- lutions. The global automated test equipment (ATE) market is expected to be valued at US$4.48 bil- lion by 2020, according to a report by Radi- ant Insights Inc. The demand drivers include increasing product design complexity and the need for effective product testing. Throughout the new product introduction process, TT Electronics provides testing recom- mendations to accelerate the development and manufacturing process. For example, to acceler- ate the development cycle, they utilize flying " aside from aircraft entertainment and information systems, electronic parts found their way into the seat, kitchen, and plumbing systems. " ems: Quo Vadis? (WHere are You goiNg?)

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